Grace and Other States

Grace and Other States

A reflection from A Month of Sundays.

We are familiar with the state of grace (or at least with the idea of it), but that other states—of despair, for instance, or melancholy, or bewilderment and anxiety or even gladness—might be conditions of the soul, a possession by divine or cosmological promise of our inmost intelligence, seldom occurs to us.

Perhaps they’re our instinctual way of paying respect to the otherworldly without ever leaving the familiar world, of acknowledging that past, present, and future cannot be the only order of our lives, for time’s marking is not magnanimous enough to comprehend the beauty and cruelty of the love that animates us or the death that is our destiny.

The order that encompasses such a joyful and sorrowful creation surely passeth all understanding, but it is undeniably present in the weather of our days, a summoning of power and loveliness that is endless in its invention, something like the Spirit of God that moved upon the face of the first waters, before light and darkness were charged with their labors and set to work.

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